As promised I’m updating again. Yesterday we ventured out into Llangollen, I’ve been there countless times before and taken the wife and kids too, last time we went I promised my son that the next time we would go on the train.
Llangollen railway is the last standard gauge steam railway left in Wales. It runs over ten miles from Llangollen to Corwen through the Dee valley.
I’ve seen the train puffing away many times as I’ve been to Llangollen and always fancied trying the train, but never quite got round to it. It was definitely worth it. You can find their website here it’s very worth a look if you fancy a day out.
Llangollen itself is a picturesque little town by the river Dee with is bridged by a fantastic 16th Centuary bridge over what is by that point a fairly fast flowing body of water. The streets are lined with lovely cafés and crafty shops, on this trip I was persuaded to part with a significant wad of cash for a rug to put in front of the fireplace. There’s also a nice little vintage shop that often has some nice Harris tweed jackets going cheap, last time we came they didn’t have one big enough to fit me, and now that I’m a bit slimmer I was hopeful! Alas the only one in my size was far too expensive so it had to stay in the shop!
Once we’d had a mooch round the shops, and stopped for some breakfast, and a few selfies, it was time to catch the train.
I didn’t grow up around steam trains, the magic of the railway had always totally passed me by. But there is no smell quite like the smell of steam locomotives. And there’s certainly something much more romantic about the huge lumbering pile of steel slick with grease and belching steam than there is about modern day trains. The kids were instantly excited, and quite honestly so was I.
The staff at the station couldn’t have been more helpful, one kind gent saw us taking photos and offered to take some with us all in. Then when I was taking pictures of the kids by the train, the driver came and stuck his hat on my sons head and after letting me take a couple of pictures of him wearing it got in on the action himself.
The trip on the train isn’t long, only around ten mile. But with a few stops it takes around half an hour. Frankly, when we got to Corwen we found that there wasn’t a great deal to do, certainly at first glance. So we got straight back on the train with our return tickets and enjoyed our picnic on the train back while we took in the views, which were totally stunning.
After the train we took a wander along the river and found a play area for the kids to wear themselves out on. Then it was back to the town for ice cream before heading home.
If you ever find yourself in north Wales then Llangollen and the railway are worth a visit, we had a great family day out. Be careful though, you could easily blow a months salary in the shops!